April 2017 Blog Posts

Bringing in the May!

Painting. Queen Guinevere’s Maying.
“While every creature rejoices at the rebirth of the greenery,I love the sweet and gentle season when the world is green once more,for I am cheerful and happy in the joy of the fresh blossoms.” -—Arnaut de MareuilAs we enter the month of May, it’s well to heed the advice of this 12th-century troubadour—delight in the return of the tree canopy and the renewal of the natural world.  Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”

“Syringa vulgaris” (common Lilac) cultivar, LtPowers, May 2013
“Passing, I leave thee lilac with heart-shaped leaves,I leave thee there in the door-yard, blooming, returning with       spring.”Walt Whitman may well have been describing his own vocation when he articulated his belief that literature could be a unifying force for the nation as it began its long road to healing from the scars of civil war:Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Top Resources for Teaching World War I and the Aftermath

American troops in the field during World War I
Few Americans understand why the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, nearly three years after Europe and most of the rest of the world were engulfed in the carnage of the Great War. The centennial of America’s entry into the war is being commemorated by exhibitions, film, television programs, and books.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Telling America’s Stories with Quilts

Harriet Powers’s pictorial quilt 1898. Wikimedia Commons.
“We Americans have adopted quilts as a symbol of what we value about ourselves and our national history,” —Laurel Horton, “Speaking of Quilts: Voices from the Late 20th century.”Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Igniting a Passion for History with Chronicling America

"Daily Missourian" headline from 1917
So many of our students arrive with a negative impression of the discipline of history. They have come to the conclusion that the study of history is about memorizing a ton of dull facts. Why wouldn’t they feel this way? It is not until later in life that they will be exposed to the real work of historians through taking an upper-level college history course or researching family genealogy. It is through piecing together a compelling and insightful narrative from primary sources that students begin to understand that history is based on evidence and inference, insight and analysis.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings